Grapevine: Singing for Sahar

Aviv Gefen organizes a benefit concert at the Zappa Club on October 19 to raise funds for bone-marrow transplant for 5-year-old Sahar Palevi Rotman.

kids with books 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
kids with books 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
■ THE GENEROSITY of celebrity singers and musicians who perform gratis for any number of good causes has been mentioned previously in this column but bears mention again in light of a special life-saving endeavor organized by Aviv Gefen. The popular singer and songwriter has organized a benefit concert to be held at the Zappa Club on October 19 to raise funds for a bone-marrow transplant for five-year-old Sahar Palevi Rotman of Kfar Yona.
Efforts to find a suitable donor in Israel have not been successful so far, and with time running out, the donor search has to be extended beyond Israel, which is a very costly process. Gefen, who knows the child’s parents, called on some of his friends and colleagues to perform gratis to raise funds for Sahar’s medical needs. Star performers who unhesitatingly agreed to give of themselves for Sahar include Shalom Hanoch, Shlomo Artzi, Miri Mesika, Rami Kleinstein, Shlomi Shaban, Shlomi Shabat and, of course, Gefen himself. The program’s emcee will be best-selling author Etgar Keret.
■ DESPITE HER reluctance to do anything that contributes to the demise of the local bookstore, publisher, editor and writer Shelley Goldman, who is the founder of AngLit Press, which has published Jane Doe Buys a Challah & Other Short Stories, Tel Aviv Short Stories and Israel Short Stories, was persuaded during her recent visit to the US that given the growing popularity of the Kindle, it would be a good idea to have a Kindle version of Israel Short Stories.
The book is now available from Amazon for $10.
Meanwhile, AngLit Press has begun receiving submissions for its next anthology, Israel Short Love Stories. The deadline for submissions is April.
Goldman advises that would-be writers and established writers who want to improve or get more feedback can join one of the writers’ workshops headed by Jerome Mandel from the English Department at Tel Aviv University.
Mandel runs three writers’ workshops in the Tel Aviv area. Each workshop meets for two hours twice a month: in Tel Aviv on alternate Tuesdays from 4 to 6 p.m.; in Ra’anana/Even Yehuda on alternate Sundays from 5 to 7 p.m.; and in Pardessiya/Nordiya on alternate Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Most participants are fiction or memoir writers, though there seem to be more poets in Tel Aviv.
Anyone interested in joining can contact Mandel at jeromemandel@ or by telephone at 054-439-9092.
■ ISRAEL’S FIRST five “ambucycles” – bicycles ridden by paramedics in areas inaccessible to regular ambulances – were introduced three years ago by the Tel Aviv branch of United Hatzalah. Today, there are more than 150 ambucycles operated in congested and difficult-to-access areas in various parts of the country. Members of the voluntary organization can attest to the fact that ambucycles can weave through traffic faster than an ambulance, can enter narrow streets with ease and can scale hilltops or ride down into valleys without the difficulties that ambulances encounter.
Now American biomedical venture capitalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter Kash wants to add to the ambucycle fleet by raising funds as he rides a motorcycle from the Golan Heights to Eilat. Kash, the author of several books, including Make Your Own Luck and Freedom from Disease (which he wrote with Dr. Jay Lombard and Tom Monte), is a professor at the Wharton School of Business and an international consultant who has lectured to groups in some 35 countries, including Israel. A couple of years back he lectured to outstanding students in IDC’s Zell program of entrepreneurship.
He has given time and money to various Israeli organizations, as well as to several Jewish organizations in the US, particularly those with healthoriented programs. His current philanthropic endeavor is in celebration of his 50th birthday. He asked 15 of his close friends, who are also successful businesspeople, to join in the fund-raising effort instead of buying him a birthday gift. Although they will not be joining him on the ride, they will be with him in spirit and have all contributed towards the purchase of at least two ambucycles.
■ THE LOCAL Hungarian community will miss Eszter Lanyi, who has wound up her four-year posting as cultural attache at the Hungarian Embassy in Tel Aviv and is returning to Budapest. During Lanyi’s term, there was a marked increase in Hungarian cultural events throughout the country, but in Tel Aviv in particular. She will be succeeded by Attila Novak, who is expected to arrive in mid-November. Lanyi has asked the many friends she has made in Israel to give him a warm welcome and to continue following the Hungarian cultural scene.